Component makers Red Panda’s red Lobster kit promises to protect your Shimano mountain bike brakes from the dreaded wandering bite point by sealing out dust, water, and debris contamination. By adding an extra rubber boot to the pushrod that drives the piston inside the master cylinder, the Lobster is said to ensure consistent brake action every time you pull on the lever for a consistent brake feel and no degradation of braking performance over time.
Red Panda Lobster dust & grime protection for Shimano MTB brakes
The first step to understanding why you need a Red Panda Lobster conversion if to get a quick primer on what wandering bite point is. Our recent MTB braking Ask A Stupid Question discussion goes into it in-depth if you want to know more (but we couldn’t get Shimano’s comments on the issue, though). But, suffice it to say, that wear on any part of the braking system can cause friction, slowing the return of anything from the brake lever to the brake pad after each lever pull. And when that happens – whether to the piston, pushrod, seals, or some other element – and the hydraulic fluid doesn’t return quickly & perfectly, the position of your brake lever when the pad bites into your rotor will change.
So that’s where the Lobsters come in…
How To prevent your brakes’ wandering bite point
To get a more consistent brake feel, the relatively simple Red Panda solution replaces the standard black plastic Shimano Servo Wave guides from inside your lever body with a bright red set of Lobster guides and the new silicone boot to seal out contamination. It’s a relatively non-invasive kit, but requires a steady hand and a pretty substantial disassembly of your brake lever assembly. But if you are good with small parts, it doesn’t even require bleeding your brakes.
The Russian tinkerers at Red Panda will guide you step-by-step through the process.
Red Panda Lobster kit – Pricing, options & availability
Red Panda currently has seven different Lobster kits available to protect Shimano Deore, SLX, XT, Saint & non-series disc brake levers, with three more options including XTR on the way. Each kit sells for $39-80 for a pair of brakes, or $20-40 per side. Each kit includes the red PU Lobster shells, silicone boot dust cover seals, plus required o-rings & other small hardware needed for the install.
Red Panda ships the Lobsters globally from where they are made in Russia, with $11 shipping to Europe or the US.